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The Aoki Endowment for Japanese Art

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Konobu Hasegawa, b. 1914
Robber Sadakuro - Bunraku, c. 1950
Ink and colors on paper
15 3/16 x 10 3/16 in. (38.6 x 25.9 cm)


Object Type: Print
Technique: Wood-block Printing
Credit Line: Purchased with funds from the Aoki Endowment for Japanese Arts and Cultures
Accession Number: 2014.1.57


Commentary
Ono Sadakura is a robber in the 11 act play “Kanadehon Chishingura,” written in 1748 about the 47 masterless warriors / ronin who sought revenge for the forced suicide of their leader. Sadakura ambushes an old man whose daughter Okaru is married to Kanpei, one of the ronin, and steals money that had been raised for the ronin by offering to sell Okaru into prostitution. The evil Sadakuro kills the old man, but then is killed by Kanpei, but when Kanpei mistakenly thinks he had killed his father-in-law, he signs an oath of revenge in blood and commits suicide.
Prof. Bruce Coats

The Japanese puppet theater tradition, also called Ningyo joruri, is a complex performance art, with musicians playing a 3-string shamisen and sometimes drums, a single chanter who both narrates the plays and provides all the dialogue voices, and the puppet handlers. The puppets are large, about half to two-thirds life size, and are usually manipulated by 3 people: one for the head and right arm, one for the body and left arm, and one for the legs and feet. The puppeteers carefully coordinate their actions to give the puppets life like movements and expressions.
Prof. Bruce Coats

See also: 2014.1.71, 2008.1.76, 2014.1.68, 2008.1.34, 2010.1.22

Marks
The works bear the artist's signature ("Konobu") and the artist's seal.

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